Should you focus on evergreen or topical content on your blog?

30 August 2017

Should you focus on evergreen or topical content on your blog?

Updating your website regularly is vital if you want to reach (and/or stay at) the top of Google’s search results. There is a question, then, about deciding what sort of content to upload and, in particular, whether to use evergreen content or topical content.

The case for evergreen content

Probably the single, biggest argument in favour of evergreen content is that creating high-quality content takes time, effort and often.

Basically, if you’re going to put in that sort of effort, you want to get as much use out of the content as you can, which means you want to produce content which can be used over the long term, even if it needs to be updated occasionally.

As a corollary to this point, evergreen content, by definition, needs less work in terms of curating. In other words, topical content, by its very nature, expires, usually pretty quickly. It can start to take the form of digital clutter on your website, losing the value it once had, whereas your evergreen content can be left to go on flourishing.

Finally, it’s much easier to produce evergreen content to a fixed production schedule. You can choose topics in advance, fill your editorial calendar and prepare your blog posts at a time that suits you (within reason). Topical content, by contrast, has to be put out while it’s still hot.

The case for topical content

Trendjacking is one of the smartest marketing moves around – if you do it properly. The basic idea is that you want to link your brand to a positive event. Negative events are generally best avoided: even if you are genuinely doing something to help, putting out your own marketing content about it can give the impression that you’re simply using the event to gain marketing capital out of someone else’s misfortune. Well-implemented trendjacking can bring in a lot of attention and, while most of that will disappear, some of it will stick around after the trend has passed.

Being consistently on trend means you are consistently relevant. It shows you keep your finger on the pulse of what is going on and are prepared to respond appropriately. Depending on whether your topical content is primarily for information or whether you provide opinion pieces, you could either become a go-to source for the latest news (a great position to hold) or the place to go for an intelligent, well-argued opinion on current events in your niche.

The fact that evergreen content is usually easier to fit into a production schedule means that it tends to be the content form of choice for most companies, which means that you’ll probably have the topical content realm mostly to yourself. Using it can therefore help to distinguish your site from the competition.

The case for the best of both worlds

For most companies these days, the old 80/20 rule is probably the guideline to follow – 80% evergreen content and 20% topical content. That means that most of your resources will go on content that will earn its keep day after day, but you’ll still have an element of topical content for that extra bit of sparkle.